Going global with Vonage Mobile

With the introduction of the (free) Vonage Mobile app for the iPhone and Vonage Mobile for iPod Touch, the world might have just gotten a lot smaller.  I've been using Vonage since August 27 2005, well before the downturn in the economy, primarily because of growing dissatisfaction with traditional landlines service, customizability and cost.  For example, prior to the switch to Vonage, my monthly phone bill was constantly betweeen $90 and $150, primarily because of in-state toll calls and my wife calling family in Hungary.  It also irked me that call forwarding just wasn't possible with my old landline, and remotely checking my messages was a hassle, let alone all of that not being customizable on the fly.  I also upgraded when Vonage came out with their flat rate for global calling (I've got the plan for Central Europe), I even consider that a bit of marital therapy if not economic, since my wife is now able to call her friends and family in Budapest almost daily - believe me Vonage may have saved our marriage once or twice because of this.

Now with the release of their new iPhone Vonage Mobile app, I can call Hungary (landlines) for just .02 cents per minute, unfortunately for the moment I have to pony up and pay per minute and can not tap into my current Vonage plans.  However Vonage is already giving hints that later this year it will allow users to tap into their global rate plans.  It just doesn't get better.

How the system works is primarily by using wifi or your regular cellular plan if wifi isn't available, to call into a local access point for Vonage, from there the internet kicks in and helps drive the cost per minute down.  That's right I can call Europe (or anywhere in the world) and be billed my regular local cellular rate plus the per minute Vonage rate, compare that to AT&T World Connect rate monthy fee of $3.99 plus the .27 cents per minute, and the pennies add up!

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I'm a behavioral health professional living and working in Maine specializing in psychiatric rehabilitation. For years I've utilized mobile technology to improve the delivery of community based mental health services, and embraced the iPhone when it came out in 2007.

I am also a doctoral candidate at Franklin Pierce University where I have been researching the role of the Liberal Arts in American higher education.

I write as a guest for iPhone Life periodically with a special interest in helping other professionals (healthcare, education and government in particular) incorporate iOS devices into their work, and several years ago introduced the first iPhone and eventually iPad classes at Lewiston Adult Education in Lewiston Maine http://laeipad.blogspot.com/ concentrating on helping other professionals interested in using and incorporating iPads into their work.